Re: Restoration of 20 ga. Ideal
Posted by Tom Archer on January 22, 2020, 6:25 pm, in reply to "Restoration of 20 ga. Ideal"
This is your gun and your money and you may never wish to do another major gun restoration, so finish the piece according to your own personal preferences if you choose to go outside grade standard. As to the Ideal Grade stock parameter, this gun would have been originally stocked with American black walnut; sometimes wood figure on an Ideal Grade was very plain, while it was spectacular on others. As I personally spend more time looking at my guns than using/shooting them, I really like the warm glow and beauty of highly figured walnut; so if it were mine I'd opt for a nice stick of crotch figured black walnut. Obviously, actual cost of the blank will be greater, but the labor cost will be the same. As to checkering, years ago a former gun works employee working in the checkering department was quoted as saying he was responsible for checkering 3 racks (a rack being 25 stocks) each day; and that as a new and unskilled worker, he worked only on Field and Ideal Grade stocks as those were the lowest grade guns. If all these checkered panels and been finished to a high degree with finely pointed diamonds, then it would have been impossible to perform his daily task and stay within cost parameters. So unless your plans are to represent this restocked Ideal as original, then I would have those flat checkered panels done the way they should have been done at the factory had cost not been so critical and enjoy a beautiful small bore Smith gun stocked to my personal dimensions. Just my thoughts, Tom